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Local students get to explore Gulf Coast environment with underwater rover vehicle

Local students get to explore Gulf Coast environment with underwater rover vehicle

Throughout October and November, WEAR, along with Hill-Kelly Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram, are 'Paying it Forward for Education' and giving $500 to a teacher with an idea that will help her students. This week, Channel 3 met a teacher at Myrtle Grove who wanted to give her class an experience they will never forget.

Cassie Mense is a 4th-grade teacher at Myrtle Grove Elementary. Each year, she does an underwater rover project with her students.

She said, "We have this incredible project where they build an underwater rover vehicle out of PVC pipe. They get to build circuit boards and play with all sorts of engineering. Every year I have to figure out how I'm going to test these rovers."

She wanted to take them somewhere they could learn about the environment and see their rovers in action, but it costs money for a field trip.

She explained, "The field trips are always tough because someone has to pay for the bus and they are more expensive than you would imagine."

That's why Hill-Kelly Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram stepped up and gave them $500 to 'Pay it Forward for Education.'

It gave them enough money to get a bus to Big Lagoon State Park. Her class got to see our amazing environment and learn at the same time.

"They are doing a lot of scientific research where rovers are used. They are using literacy skills, why rovers are used. The science, they are seeing these ecosystems, these animals, and learning hands-on how we can be the change to this area." said Mense.

Mense said it makes it even more special because many of her students don't have the financial means to do things like this. It will be a memory that lasts a lifetime.

"A lot of our kids don't realize we have an ocean, many haven't been to the beach. It's not that their parents don't want to take them, they don't have a way to come out here," said Mense.

The learning won't stop after the field trip ends. The class will analyze the GoPro video and discover what lies under the water.

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